Northwestern University Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.

Claire

My classmates were excited an engaged learners. Everyone worked hard and did their best.

a

Smart, challenging, diverse.

Patricia

Fun

Robb

I think I answered this earlier :) Love the students. Really accepting of people from all walks of life. However, there are a lot of white people. This isn't a problem for minority students though, they aren't separated from unless its their intention to be secluded. Students are definitely politically aware and active. A friend of mine got to go to Obama's 2012 reelection speech last fall, and I was super jealous. Students prepare for the future, but don't really dwell on the paycheck. About 1/2 of the students are on financial aid, but we face the same problem all private elite schools do when trying to recruit low students from low income families.

Kayley

My classmates are highly motivated, eager to go beyond the bare minimum, but also more than willing to assist one another in all areas of the college experience.

Deeya

Because NU is a big, private school, expect to see variety with a common thread. Many people have a solid educational background (parents, siblings included) and high ambitions. People are pretty casual in terms of clothes and eating habits. Because NU is not a city campus, there are a ton of ways to make yourself useful on campus--everything from pre-professional or policy-writing groups, to competitive dance teams.

Ellyn

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Allison

When I first arrived at Northwestern, I will admit, I was slightly concerned due to the fact that the majority of the people I encountered were either pre-meds with their heads buried entirely in their organic chemistry textbooks, or students more interested in the "college experience" than academics. This worried me, because I don't particularly fall into either category. In addition to this, it seemed that science majors only knew other science majors, arts students kept to themselves, and there was a frightening lack of cross-disciplinary mixing in general. However, after three and a half years here, I've realized that every type of person you may wish to hang out with exists at Northwestern: it's simply a matter of finding them. I now live in a co-op, which is home to all levels of studiousness and a large variety of majors. We have students from all around the country as well (and even a few from further reaches of the world, such as Australia and France). There are also student groups for almost any interest that you may have, though they often tend towards service societies and less towards socializing with peers who happen to have the same views/hobbies. Overall, the atmosphere is rather accepting. While, of course, there are bound to be some individuals who disagree with you or make snide comments, I don't believe that this exists more so here than at any other school. In all, it is up to you to find your niche at Northwestern.

Allison

When I first arrived at Northwestern, I will admit, I was slightly concerned due to the fact that the majority of the people I encountered were either pre-meds with their heads buried entirely in their organic chemistry textbooks, or students more interested in the "college experience" than academics. This worried me, because I don't particularly fall into either category. In addition to this, it seemed that science majors only knew other science majors, arts students kept to themselves, and there was a frightening lack of cross-disciplinary mixing in general. However, after three and a half years here, I've realized that every type of person you may wish to hang out with exists at Northwestern: it's simply a matter of finding them. I now live in a co-op, which is home to all levels of studiousness and a large variety of majors. We have students from all around the country as well (and even a few from further reaches of the world, such as Australia and France). There are also student groups for almost any interest that you may have, though they often tend towards service societies and less towards socializing with peers who happen to have the same views/hobbies. Overall, the atmosphere is rather accepting. While, of course, there are bound to be some individuals who disagree with you or make snide comments, I don't believe that this exists more so here than at any other school. In all, it is up to you to find your niche at Northwestern.

Daniel

There is no typical Northwestern student. You'll see a lot of hipsters, a few preps, but there are also the odd balls and the really cool people who don't fit in anything. Even the people you call hipsters are not really hipsters--they can pretty much fit anywhere too. However, if you're emo you may feel out of place; haven't met very many, if any, of them. If you're gay, you're fine. Everyone interacts with everyone. You just gotta find the people you like. Seriously, Northwestern students are either pre-professional like crazy or they are just smart, cool people who will be some of your most valued connections one day.

Karen

It's hard to describes everyone, of course, but I think most students are bright, hard-working, friendly, like to have a good time, have at least a few hidden talents. Many tend to be more pre-professional that purely academic, but there's definitely a good mix. Many students are from the Chicago area, but there are a good number from other places too.

Amber

I've found that Northwestern is generally very accepting of students of all ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds and sexual orientations. At least my groups of friends are. There are so many people at our school that you are sure to find a great group of friends, whether that is classmates, roommates, suitemates or friends from extracurriculars. A lot of students, particularly international students, are well-off, but many other students come from less privileged backgrounds too. If you're going to join a sorority or fraternity, it'll probably cost more money, not necessarily for the housing, but for all of the social events/dues throughout the year. Like on most college campuses, students are predominantly liberal, but I've found that most students are at least open to hearing other political views and debating social issues.

Grace

Northwestern is very much committed to diversity and tolerance. We do not have very many Hispanic, Latino or African American students here, but they do have a presence. The African American Student Association has its own official office on Sheridan Road. I would say we're at least 30% Asian, but that is mostly based on guesswork. Low-income students are woefully underrepresented at Northwestern, but they are by no means unwelcome. People rarely talk about their own socioeconomic status, because it's just not important to us. When people talk about religion, it is quite calmly. I have a friend who often encourages me to come to church with him, but he never presses the matter if I decide not to go. We have a strong presence of all of the Abrahamic religions, but in my experience, a lot of students here are spiritually ambiguous and like it that way. Politically, I'd say students are centered pretty firmly and a little left-leaning. It really depends on who you hang out with, but I have seen very little extremism on campus. Students here are sophistocated and well-informed. They know better than to waste time bickering. If two students are discussing politics, they are likely exchanging ideas, not arguing. Students here are also from all over. There are tons of people from the immediate area (Northeastern Illinois), but we also have large groups of students from China, India, Texas, New Jersey and California. Most Midwestern states are well-represented, too, except Indiana. Being from Indiana, this is frustrating to me.

Ellyn

Most students here come from affluent backgrounds with mostly liberal political views; however, there are definitely groups of people who are completely unlike that. Each group can be equally outspoken on campus and you'll notice certain groups having their own little rallies and meetings spreading their views around. There are also religious groups for pretty much everyone!

Katherine

All different types of students interact. Northwestern really is a community. Everyone at northwestern is open to different cultures and backgrounds.

Benison

Northwestern is populated by students from all across the spectrum. You have kids from all over the world, that went to international schools and you have your average, Chicago-born student. Northwestern provides enough resources for students to express themselves in whatever means that they choose. There are students who are filthy rich and those who are full-time workers as well as students in hopes to pay off the loans that they are taking. Some students don't ever wear the same outfit once in a week while others wear the same shirt almost everyday. Most students are politically aware of what is going on in the world and are usually open to conversation. These students are here for a reason and add a lot of spunk to the university. To not expose yourself to them would be a shame.

Jonathan

My classmates overall are very intelligent, social, and amiable.

Timothy

My classmates are all of the nerds in high school who now have entered a power vaccuum in which they are trying to define new roles for themselves.

Andy

Smart, but not impressively smart. Think of the smart kid in your classes. Cool, funny, pretty with it, but probably not going to knock your socks off with his insights into anything important or difficult.

Leslie

My classmates are determined and ambitious but supportive.

Emerson

I'm impressed by my classmates who all seem to have at least one activity or subject, if not many, in which they absolutely excel.

Nadia

My classmates are all hardworking, dedicated, and are a mixture of people who constantly work, work and have fun, and only have fun.

Rowena

they're ambitious and smart but love to have fun and party a lot more than kids at other top tier schools.

Shannon

Motivated, hard-working and type A personality.

Kristy

They are very passionate about what they do, eager to prove themselves, and will sieze opportunity when they see it.

Matthew

The classes here are composed of the people who belong in that class. That's basically it, you'll find the right people in each class, because people tend to figure out quite well what they want to do, and for the most part, you can readily find it on-campus.

Debbie

Some of them are really into succeeding in life so it's true it doesn't feel good being around those people, but there are those type of people at every school. On the other hand there are some awesome people at my school, from diverse backgrounds, who not only have fun with me but help me stay on track. They're Awesome!

Curie

They bring a lot to the table. Well rounded kids, a lot of kids played sports or an instrument in high school. Engineering kids are all highly qualified, creative, academically smart. Most kids here are pretty laid back and try to enjoy life.

Margaret

Northwestern students are cheerful and intelligent, but they don't want to seem too intelligent, and they drink too much, and there is very little loving going on.

Candace

Undercover geniuses with reputations to uphold.

Timothy

The like to work together so that everyone makes it out ok.

Kyle

Competitive and enthusiastic.

Devin

NU kids are mostly rich, white, and moderate. The enrollment of black students here has been declining for several decades; this is one of the most disappointing failures of NU's supposed dedication to racial diversity.

Talya

Career-oriented, liberal, somewhat egotistical, party loving.

Carla

Rich kids who are smart but who also have financial means to get through anything without knowing the meaning of sacrifice, at least financially

Kristi

Northwestern Students work and play hard in sometimes unconventional and quirky ways.

Karinna

Typically very smart, driven, but also incredibly judgemental.

Tiffany

Northwestern students are academically gifted and typically well-bred; their intellect comes with tradition of brotherhood and a certain Midwestern friendliness that can be shocking to those from the East Coast.

shauna

open minded, free, driven, social, interesting, diverse, enthuastic, active, smart, fit, responcible, helpful.

Chelsea

A Northwestern student talks about who may not fit in at Northwestern.

Chelsea

A student talks about Northwestern's reputation.

Chelsea

A student talks about some other schools students applied to.

Chelsea

A student talks about some sterotypes.

Chelsea

A student says that girls with no motivation should not attend Northwestern.

Chelsea

A student talks about schools other students applied to besides Northwestern.

Chelsea

A student explains what student would not fit in at Northwestern.

Chelsea

The student continues to talk about Northwestern's social life.

Chelsea

A student explains why he chose Northwestern.

Chelsea

A student talks about some of the school's stereotypes.

Chelsea

A student describes some of her favorite thigns.